Your Virtual Front Page, Thursday, September 4, 2014

I’m giving you this VFP not because it’s a very newsy day (it isn’t), because it’s been awhile, and gosh darn it, y’all deserve one:

  1. West signals more Russia sanctions (BBC) — This is ahead of cease-fire talks expected tomorrow. And a day after POTUS draws a line in the Baltics. This is really kind of a jumbled story, but it’s the most important thing I see out there, so it leads…
  2. BP’s ‘reckless conduct’ caused spill (The Guardian) — We could be talking up to 18 billion more in fines. Which, you know, is more than I make in a year!
  3. McDONNELLS GUILTYEx-governor, wife convicted of corruption (WashPost) — Don’t know if you’ve been following this, but today’s the big day on it. The Post, the NYT and the WSJ are all leading with it. Which is why I turned to British outlets for my own lede and second story. ‘Cause you know, I don’t live in Virginia. And those of us who don’t are mere voyeurs on a story such as this.
  4. Johnson & Johnson Pushes Ahead With Ebola Vaccine (NPR) — Here’s hoping they can get it out into the field quickly — and it works.
  5. Joan Rivers dead at 81 (LAT) — For those of you interested, I figured L.A. would have the most complete coverage.
  6. Two gubernatorial debates set ( — Not necessarily front-page material, but I was hard-up for something local.

24 thoughts on “Your Virtual Front Page, Thursday, September 4, 2014

  1. Brad Warthen

    OK, I’ll say it: Is anyone besides me feeling guilty today for never having liked Joan Rivers? All these critics and others are just effortlessly gushing about how great she was, and I’m like… really?

    I found her so grating, so off-putting. I couldn’t even take her in small doses.

    To me, she’s in that category of comics whose appeal I never got. Along with Don Rickles, Gilbert Gottfried, Sam Kinison…

    OK, I got that off my chest…

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Who’s the Pentecostalist?

        As for Jews, come on — if I name a list of comics I like, or a list of comics I don’t like, it will be heavily Jewish.

        I think maybe my taste in standup is very pedestrian. I like Seinfeld. EVERYBODY likes Seinfeld. I also like Ray Romano — everybody loves Raymond, right? (No doubt because he’s Catholic.)

        1. Silence

          Ray Romano is whiny. I can’t stand to listen to him, at least not on Everybody Loves Raymond. Maybe his standup is better. His voice grates on me.

          1. Kathryn Braun Fenner

            I liked him in Men of a Certain Age, although both his costars did better and more appealing jobs.

    1. Doug Ross

      Now maybe you understand how I felt about the raves for Phillip Seymour Hoffman after he died. I just didn’t see get that he was a “great” actor.

      As for Joan – she wasn’t that funny to me. Now, Don RIckles was my hero in my younger days (replaced by Jeffrey Ross now).

    2. Kathryn Braun Fenner

      She had a few good lines, but she was an old school yuk-yuk Johnny/Jackie/Joey comic in a skirt. Not one’s cup of tea

  2. Maggie

    Brad, I’ve been curious about what you, Bryan and the boys think about a comment made by Pete Strom at That Viers’ arraignment in federal court last week. Viers is Strom’s client. According to an AP story by Jeffrey Collins, Viers (also an attorney) is accused of lying to FBI agents & helping a client (who pled guilty) transfer and hide assets. But here’s the comment that jumped out at me. The reporter wrote that Strom “said his client may not have realized he was breaking the law because South Carolina’s two law schools don’t do a good job training new lawyers how to handle complex financial matters. He said Viers’ nearly decade-long service in the State House also kept him from learning what he needed to know.”

    “Did he know what he was doing was wrong, if it was wrong?” attorney Pete Strom asked reporters outside the courthouse.

    I would have to categorize this as a novel defense! Even the lawyers are blaming the teachers!

    1. Bryan Caskey

      I really don’t know anything about that case; haven’t been following it. Not sure it’s a novel defense though. It seems mainly to address intent/state of mind.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Back in the 80s, upon learning my first name was Donald, Cheryl Levenbrown — now of The New York Times — said I should front a band called “Donny B. and the All-Night Newsboys.”

        I found it sort of catchy…

    2. Kathryn Braun Fenner

      No law schools do a good job of training lawyers to handle complex financial matters. You learn on the job, with supervision, or you don’t take the case. You are expected to know the limits of your competence.

      1. Silence

        Kathryn, Maggie specifically asked what the boys thought. While we ordinarily appreciate your well thought out comments and opinions, right now men are talking. 😉

        1. Kathryn Braun Fenner

          Can I get anyone a fresh drink? How about these lovely canapés? Let me empty your ashtray….

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